Naruto – The Broken Bond

Platform:  Microsoft XBox 360

Developed by:  Ubisoft Montreal

UK Distributor:  Ubisoft

ELSPA rating: 12+

Original Retail Price (SRP):  £49.99

Current Value:  £35.62

Reviewer:  Matt Dark 

Naruto hits the 360 again in his second outing, picking right up where the games prequel ‘Rise of a Ninja’ left off.  With new features, team-combat and a large world to explore, this Naruto title will sort the Hokage from the Genin.

Broken Bond picks up right at the end of the Chunin exams arc, with the 3rd Hokage facing off with Orochimaru, using this battle as a chance to instruct you on how to play.  Standard combos are used with a combination of the X and Y buttons, while B is used to block and A allows you to jump for aerial attacks.

What makes the game different to other Naruto games is the way characters activate their Jutsu.  By holding in the left trigger, you

will be prompted to choose one of a set number of directions to push both analogue sticks in order to start charging your Jutsu, release the trigger at the right time and you will unleash your Jutsu upon the enemy.  To make battles a little more frantic, this mechanic is done in real-time, so you have to pick the right time to use it, or your opponent can stop you with an attack or a quick toss of a Kunai.

Much like Dragon Ball Z – Burst Limit did in terms of graphics, Broken Bonds characters are among the best that I’ve seen in a Naruto game, second only to Ultimate Ninja Storm (PS3).  The scenery looks amazing too, while there are plenty of forest areas to explore, along with a few small towns, the true spectacle has to be the leaf-village itself, which feels like it has been replicated perfectly in the game, which is a good thing, as you will spend a hell of a lot of time wandering around it. 

   The story itself generally follows the main plot of the Naruto series, starting off with Naruto being trained by Jiraiya as they search for Tsunade, going all the way to the final battle between Naruto and Sasuke, ending right before the 3-year gap.

In order to help extend the story, there are a number of side missions added in that you are required to complete, most of which involve Chouji, Kiba, Neji and Shikamaru, who will join you in little quests, such as getting a date for

Jiraiya, or helping Chouji find at why they’ve stopped selling is favourite brand of potato chips(Yes, really).  While these missions give you a chance to get used to the characters, considering they will join you permanently around halfway through the game, they do tend to get in the way of the main story, and as you have to complete these missions, you can sometimes feel like your doing a chore more then a mission.

Speaking of the other characters that join you, what makes Broken Bond different from its prequel is that you control multiple Ninjas at a time in your journey.  You will need to use their Jutsu’s to get through the game and collect everything.  For example, Naruto can create shadow clones in order to cross large gaps, Shikamaru can control his shadow to flip blocked off switches and Neji can use his Byakugan to help you see hidden traps.

The only problem is that there are a number of abilities that are shared between characters.  Chouji, Naruto and Sasuke all use one of their abilities in break down walls that block your path, so the game makes it that only certain walls can be destroyed by each character.  Chouji can only break walls with a circular indent, Naruto can only break walls with a spiral mark and Sasuke can only break down walls if they have a large crack in them.  In fact, because of this Kiba essentially becomes useless outside of battle, as his abilities are shared with both Neji and Shikamaru.

Outside of the single player mode, the game features both on-line and off-line versus modes, and with a total of 30 characters to choose from (Though 3 of them are just pallet swaps) including extra characters such as Zabuza and Haku, giving you plenty of variety.  Strangely though, there are a few characters that are unplayable for unknown reasons, Gai Sensei for example, who is available to fight in the training mode, yet he is not a playable character in any way at all.

Despite some of the flaws and issues the game has, I found myself enjoying it from start to finish; there is always plenty to do and more then enough things to collect, so if you have a 360, you should definitely check this game out!


There are plenty of things to do outside of the main story, there are a number of mini-games, from tree hopping to catching fish.  There are also bounty hunter missions requiring you to take down specific targets, along with hidden Ninja cards, which let you fight some of the strongest characters in the game, including Sasuke in his Cursed Seal form.

Perhaps the best, and also funniest side-mission though is finding the love-lorn villagers around the maps and helping to mend their broken hearts.  How do you ask?  How else but by pulling off a sexy justu?


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